What is a Head Gasket Leak?

A head gasket is a ringed panel that comes between the engine block and cylinder heads. It is meant to stop oil from leaking from the engine block to the cylinders, making it a vital component in the combustion system. It also blocks water conduits from entering the combustion chamber.

Due to its location, the head gasket experiences different temperatures; heat from the combustion chamber and cold from the cooling conduits. This may take a toll on the gasket's structural integrity, cause cracks, and eventually a leak. If the issue is not sorted, it may blow up the entire head gasket.

A head gasket can handle intense heat under normal working conditions. However, if the engine block heats up beyond the normal range, it may cause the head gasket to warp and crack. Besides, if the cylinder pressure is too high, it may blow the head gasket out of position and cause a leak.

Symptoms of a Leak in the Head Gasket

As explained earlier, the head gasket prevents coolant from getting into the combustion chamber. When it leaks, coolant gets into the cylinders and is incorporated into the combustion proves. Combusted coolant causes white smoke to come from the tailpipe. This usually happens as you start the engine. There may also be some bubbling in the coolant reservoir and radiator.

You may also notice the loss of coolant without any visible leak or a milky coloration in the oil. Besides, the lack of adequate coolant may cause the engine to overheat. If the fuel mixes with the oil and coolant in the combustion cylinder, it may be less effective and cause the engine to lose power. The extent of power loss depends on the number of cylinders affected by the leak. Such loss of power is evident when moving uphill.

A leaking head gasket may cause major issues in the car, especially the combustion and cooling systems. Therefore, it is crucial to have the problem fixed as soon as possible to avoid expensive repairs.

If your car experiences problems with the head gasket, visit our auto shop today for professional inspection and repair.

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